ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | KATIE LANCE
Q&A WITH KATIE LANCE
Q: Let’s take it back to when you worked with Cutco. Tell us a little bit of how you got started.
- I started in 1995.
- I was a student at Cal State, Long Beach.
- I saw an ad on a newspaper and thought it was interesting.
- I called it up, went in for an interview, and the rest is history.
- I worked through college. I was fortunate to be an All-American. It was a big goal of mine.
- I was Assistant Manager, Branch Manager and District Manager.
- I often tell people it was by far one of my best experiences. It really shaped who I am today.
Q: Tell us about some of the experiences you had that stand out and some of the lessons that came out of them.
- Many of my memories with Cutco were really kind of the building block basics of communication.
- I remember early on thinking I need a job for experience.
- It was a real life experience. To go into someone’s home, build rapport, build relationships, build someone’s trust, to pick up a phone and reach out to someone you don’t know, to be able to do professional sales presentations.
- How to ask for referrals, how to ask for an order, how to close.
- Those were tried and true principles. It was pretty amazing.
Q: What about your time as a Branch Manager and District Manager? You ran 3 branches, right?
- I did twice in Southern California and once in Hawaii.
- Hawaii was in 1999. It was definitely an experience.
- I remember thinking where else I could do this? I was single, still in college.
- It was an amazing experience. Building something from nothing.
- It was such an incredible thing.
- To be honest that was when the entrepreneur bug stuck with me.
- Even later, when I was working in a corporate environment, I treated myself as my own boss.
Q: Tell us about the period of your career after Vector. I want to hear a little bit about the bridge between Vector and what you’re doing now.
- I worked for Vector for about 8 years.
- Then, I made a leap going into the real estate world.
- I was employed by a local real estate broker in the Bay Area.
- I remember thinking this industry was very similar to Cutco, to Vector.
- I worked with them for a number of years as their Marketing Director.
- I was able to bring so much of my marketing and sales experience to the table.
- This was the early days of social media. That’s when I got my feet in social media marketing.
- I remember thinking this is fun, this is an opportunity for me!
- We could do social media marketing and not have to spend thousands of dollars on newspaper ads.
- I then took a position working with a media company as the Social Media Director.
- I worked my way up and started doing a ton of speaking on social platforms.
- I would always enjoy speaking. I think a big part of that was from my time with Vector. All the interviews, all the training.
- There’s nothing like being in a room in front of people. That energy. To have someone come up to you at the end of an event, and say “gosh! I never thought of it that way!”
- It was very rewarding.
Q: What led you to start your own consultancy?
- I was in a phase of my life when I was trying to figure out what to do next.
- I had a few people who reached out asking, “have you ever thought of going on your own?”
- I did some soul-searching and thought maybe I don’t want to work for one company.
- Maybe I want the opportunity to work for a lot of people, help a lot of people.
- I talked with my husband about it and he told me to do it.
- The hardest part was making the decision. Once you make the decision, it becomes so much easier.
- I took the leap, and I think I was able to do it in a way that makes sense and in 2012, I was in business for myself!
Q: What were some of the challenges to overcome initially in starting your own business?
- When I went on my own, I knew I wanted to specialize in social media.
- The big challenge was trying not to over-commit myself and trying not to say yes to everything.
- When I first started, I was primarily doing consulting and that shifted, evolved.
- I’m still doing consulting, but it’s now a small part of my business. I am doing a lot more of online academy training. It’s interesting how things shift.
Q: You specialize in social media and content strategy and your book is called Get Social Smart. Tell us what it means to “#GetSocialSmart” in this day and age?
- The book was inspired by the idea, I don’t think social media is the end all, be all.
- It doesn’t replace this. There’s still nothing like talking face to face.
- I think there is a lot of value in having a strategy, having a plan.
- What happens a lot with social media is it becomes this “time suck.”
- It becomes this thing we do in between moments of our day.
- I believe there is a lot of value in becoming smart with your time.
- I also think it is invented ground. We don’t own it.
- I believe in the philosophy of creating assets that go with you wherever you go. Things like video content, podcast content, blog content.
- Those are things, that regardless of what happens at Facebook or Twitter, those are yours. You own those.
- Those are assets and it makes a big difference.
Q: Unpack that a little bit for us. What are some of the things people should be doing to be able to build their presence?
- I think the big mistake people make with social media is they look at it like it’s just a marketing platform. It’s like this one-way street.
- For most of us, when we go to social media, we see our friends and family, and a few ads along with that.
- If it included just training and ads, we’d all leave.
- I thing it’s important to think about how can you bring value, how can you be helpful. A share is like the ultimate currency in social media.
- So, how do you get someone to share your content? By creating content that’s valuable.
- What happens when you do this over the course of time and consistently, you’ll start to hear things like “I feel like I know you!”, “I feel like you’re in my head!”
- That’s the difference between attracting business vs. chasing leads.
- It’s a pretty awesome way of doing business. What happens is you start getting people who reach out to you, and it’s up to you to decide if you want to work with them.
Q: How about different social media platforms? Is there anything you can say to differentiate those in the minds of listeners?
- Obviously, Facebook is like the bread and butter, and has been around probably the longest.
- I think what you need to look at is 2 things:
- First, where do you like spending your time? Is it Facebook, is it Instagram, is it Twitter, is it TikTok?
- Secondly, which is almost as important, where do your customers hang out?
- Whatever platform you choose, it’s very important that it’s not just you broadcasting.
- Relevant content is important, but it is also important to be intentional.
Q: If someone is a young Vector manager, and they don’t know if they are going to be here forever, what is something you recommend they be doing to really begin this process?
- I would say make the most of your time.
- Make the most of this experience.
- Use this opportunity to build your own personal brand that will go with you wherever you go. Whether you choose to stay in Vector or you take the next chapter.
- Is there any opportunity to start telling your story? To be helpful?
Q: How would you suggest the average person goes about building an email database?
- Email marketing is one of the most effective skills to stay in touch with people.
- Keep it simple. Don’t buy email lists.
- There are a lot of tools that will allow you to do email marketing very effectively.
- You can start with the people you directly know, your friends, family, your colleagues.
- As far as building a list, a lot of times use a call to action at the end of a piece of content with an email newsletter.
Q: Your expertise is so much greater than mine. I want to give you an opportunity to talk on anything you feel I haven’t asked you and you want to share.
- I would encourage those listening to realize that there is so much great opportunity within Vector.Just follow the program.
- I would encourage people to think long-term.
- Remember relationships are built with small tiny actions over the course of time.
- It takes time to be known. It takes time to build a community.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Q: As you look into the future, how do you aspire to change lives through what you’re doing?
- I think what I really try to do is show that you can do what you want to do in life.
- We were only given one life to live, and we got to be true to that.
- I hope I can lead by example for our family, our community.
- I love the subject covered in this conversation because it’s actionable in whatever role you are in right now.
- The idea of building your own personal brand, building your digital legacy.
- I enjoyed hearing Katie’s Cutco story, learning the basics of communication.
- I want to encourage you to drink up your learning opportunities in Vector and out of Vector.
- I loved the concept of attracting business vs. chasing leads. When you’re putting yourself out in the world in ways that show your personal value, it attracts business to you.
- Social media @katielance
Show Notes for this episode provided by Brian Njenga.
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